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Let me ask you something: who here wears sneakers every day? That’s right – most of us do (or at least on the weekends) but I couldn’t help myself and wonder how this booming industry was becoming so popular and most importantly, how it worked.

According to Forbes, the international sneaker market has grown by more than 40% since 2004, to an estimated $55 billion market worldwide. Now, if that doesn’t give you a good idea of how much the industry is growing, I’m not sure what will. But the sneaker industry is, for a lot of people, a mysterious and unreachable career goal, so we decided to take a look inside the business and how you could make this dream of working for one of the coolest industry, a reality.

From high street to niche

From gym shoe to fashion staple, the sneaker reflects in many ways some of the most significant pop-culture changes. For one, advertising and influencers have taken over the market of commercialising sneakers, but there is also an obvious influence by the hip-hop culture. I know – here we go again!

But take a moment to think about it, go back 10-15 years and try to picture a chic or well-dressed woman in the middle of Paris acing the sneaker-dress combo… That’s right it didn’t happen, because believe it or not, trainers weren’t high fashion yet. Whereas Nike is commonly known today as a revolutionary sneaker-creator, Chuck Taylor were actually the first shoes to use celebrities, in 1934, to promote healthy living and the gym culture just after WWI. But it wasn’t until the late 1970s that sneaker designers took the realm of “useful” sneakers into “trendy” ones, with the new Nike Cortez design.

Gucci was the first designer to explore the different designs with sneakers since 1984, which is today still a very popular choice, followed by Prada in 1996 which is when they fully entered the runway for the first time.

What can you bring to the industry?

So now that we’ve briefly looked at the history and shift of the sneaker culture in the world, why not take a look at the reasons why maybe a career in athletic footwear is not the worst idea ever. There are a few reasons why the sneaker industry might be the perfect fit for you. For one, it’s never been so popular (ever) and its future is looking brighter than it has ever been, as seen just above. New models and technologies are spreading through the different brands and loads of job opportunities are opening up for creative individuals like yourself.

Let’s take a look at Kanye West’s line with Louis Vuitton for example, “Kanye West was an active participant in the creation of this collection at Louis Vuitton,” said museum curator. “He represents a new image of male success that involves access to these luxury brands. But it’s not simply being a consumer, it’s being a creator.” If Kanye can do it, then surely you can!

Unique opportunities are wide open for anyone to come up with cool designs and new technologies to make the walking experience better, and we couldn’t be more excited.


 Featured image from Unsplash

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